SOME CITY, USA
March 20, 2015
An interesting twist in the Some City School District labor dispute between the teacher’s union and district officials occurred today in the lobby of Some City High School cafeteria where contract negotiations are being held this week.
At 9:25 a.m., 55 of the district’s Nursery School and Kindergarten teachers walked into the building and stood in front of the doors to the cafeteria. At 9:31 a.m. Elizabeth Adams, a Kindergarten teacher at Some City Elementary School, announced over a mega phone, “Nap time.” The teachers, in unison, lay down on the floor.
From their collective prone position, Ms. Adams proceeded to recite over a megaphone a list of demands regarding work hours and breaks for the district’s elementary school teachers.
“This is an important issue,” said David Davison, also a Kindergarten teacher at SC Elementary. “Our students are allowed a 20 minute nap each morning at 9:30 a.m., but the teachers are not permitted the same break. We’re tired. We need a nap, too.”
Ms. Adams repeatedly recited the list of demands, which included a demand for snack time, play time and recess for teachers as well.
During a break between class times, a group of teens gathered around the lie-in protesters and one group of students joined the teacher’s protest.
“I could use a little nap about now, myself!” stated SC High student Cindy Loo Hoo.
The students who had congregated around the lying down teachers, as well as those who had joined them down on the floor quickly scattered back to their classrooms when SC High Principal Everett J. Jones arrived with detention notices for any student caught loitering—listed as a very serious offence with a 90-day detention penalty in the district’s Code of Conduct—and Double Detention notice for any student joining the teachers’ protest.
One student, Sophomore Rip Van Winkle, remained on the ground with the teachers. He was cited for violation against the Code of Conduct and handed a Double Detention notice by Principal Jones. The young man had no comment as he was asleep.
The negotiations taking place inside the cafeteria were stopped approximately 30 minutes after the start of the “nap-in.” Representatives from both the teacher’s union and the school district came out to the lobby speak to the teachers.
Union representatives escorted Ms. Adams, plus two fellow protestors into the cafeteria to deliver their demands directly to the district and union representatives gathered for contract negotiations.
“I feel confident our demands were heard,” said Ms. Adams, “but all this lying about has made us tired, so we’re going out for coffee and to discuss next steps.”